Aberystwyth (hymn tune)

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Aberystwyth is a hymn tune composed by Joseph Parry, written in 1876 and first published in 1879 in Edward Stephen's Ail Lyfr Tonau ac Emynau (Welsh for "Second Book of Tunes and Hymns").[1][2] Parry was at the time the first professor and head of the new department of music at the recently founded University College Wales, Aberystwyth, now called Aberystwyth University.

Originally Aberystwyth was most popular as a setting for Charles Wesley's hymn Jesus, Lover of My Soul.[3]

In 1897 Enoch Sontonga composed the hymn Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika ("Lord Bless Africa" in Xhosa), setting it to Aberystwyth. The song became a pan-African liberation anthem and the tune is currently the setting of the national anthems of Tanzania and Zambia and since 1994, a portion of the national anthem of South Africa.


  1. ^ The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music
  2. ^ Let the People Sing: Hymn Tunes in Perspective, Paul Westermeyer, page 217
  3. ^ Hymnary.org